Ecommerce Optimisation: What you really need to consider for Q3

So we’ve made it half-way through the year which, to ecommerce folk, means we’ve reached Q3 of 2016.

We’ve seen a lot and learned a lot this year, with surprises along the way.  So, given what’s happened so far, what should you be considering for the next quarter?

1. It’s time to get video savvy

video toys r us ecommerce

The first half of the year has shown that customers are demanding more content rich and visceral shopping experiences. They don’t want just a mere photo and description. Vivid and detailed product descriptions are no doubt helpful, and beautiful product photography is great, but this doesn’t quite capture the essence of your products like high quality video.

Product tutorials, and demos can work well on video, and can also provide shareable material. A bit of creativity can go a long way. Look here for some video ideas.

2. Reputation marketing is more important than ever

Social proof is now a complete expectation, and affects both online and in-store purchasing. Google research shows 8 out of 10 people use a smart phone in store to consult reviews whilst shopping. Online, many shoppers won’t buy a product that doesn’t have a review, and they may go to an online store elsewhere that displays a good number of reviews.

Reputation marketing tools allow you to directly respond to customer feedback and manage interactions. Negative reviews can be turned into positive experiences with the right response. It’s also worth trying to incentivise your customers to leave a review – higher number of reviews translates into more trust in both your products and brand (unless, of course, reviews are largely negative!)

3. Customers are less patient

baby phone angry

The expectations of customers are changing rapidly, and this applies to online customer service more than anything. Online visitors have less and less patience when it comes to finding answers to questions – and if their answers can’t be found easily, why should they hang around?

Customers also might want a bit of advice and assurance about which product suits their needs. Live chat is the best current solution to this, and, from a vendor point of view,  is a worthwhile investment. Consider this: Live Chat has the highest levels of customer satisfaction at 73%, compared to 44% over the phone.

4. Get ready for the big online shopping days

cyber monday

It’s well known that events like Black Friday are huge opportunities to drive traffic and sales. Cyber Monday yielded $3 billion last year in the US, but the biggest day online was Singles Day in China with Alibaba making over $14 billion alone. It’s predicted that these days will only get bigger, and new event days are popping up.  It’s worth preparing for these days significantly in advance, with a targeted and personalised marketing campaign, and ensuring your site is well prepared for the weight of extra traffic. Other events to consider in this next quarter are Back to School Sales, Summer Clear Outs and significant days within your country or culture.

5. Personalisation is hitting the mainstream

homepage personalisastion

85% of marketers are now using personalisation across campaigns (source: Researchscape/Evergage), with personalisation typically showing conversion increases of 19%. There is no doubt that delivering personalised experiences is necessary to keep up with the competition, as customers similarly expect their onsite experiences to be relevant to them. Interestingly, most marketers rate their personalisation efforts as no higher than a ‘C grade’, so clearly work needs to be done. With a large proportion citing lack of technology as a factor, tools like Bunting will undoubtedly make the process easier.

So…

As we head into the next quarter of the year, it’s worth thinking about what we’ve learned so far, and how this information can help optimise your site. Making these changes now will no doubt help prepare your store for the winter buying rush in Q4 (But we won’t talk too much about that yet..!).

18 Practical Ideas for Ecommerce Personalization

A common question for users experimenting with ecommerce personalisation is this:

What personalisation should I use on my site?

Personalisation is limited only by the imagination, however, it always helps to get hold of some some tried and tested ideas to play with. It’s important to note, however, that what works for one website won’t necessarily work for your site. Therefore, you need to split test your campaigns to measure their success.

Here are 18 personalisation ideas to help raise conversions.

 

1.  Try welcoming new visitors with a non-intrusive pop-up or call-out. Assure them of your customer support and let them know of any sales.

2.  Turn your loyal customers into brand ambassadors! Why not reward your frequent buyers with a special offer, a sneaky peek at new product lines or a free gift?

3. Tailor your website’s banners and featured products to your visitor’s interests. Relevance is key.

4. Why not welcome back returning visitors with a personalised message? This is mimicking the friendly approach of a shop assistant at a bricks and mortar store.

5. Remind visitors of products they’ve previously browsed. They may still be interested, and by helping them with reminders, you’re likely to benefit too.

6. Capture email addresses of visitors abandoning their cart with a “want us to email your cart to you?” message.

7. Send abandoned cart reminders with personalised similar item recommendations – this may help the shopper to find what they want.

8. Support indecisive shoppers with a pop-up directing them to your FAQ or live chat. By helping users find answers to their questions, you’ll likely see more conversions.

9. Help prevent exits by offering a time sensitive discount or free delivery when the user shows intent to leave the site. This can work particularly well for visitors who have never purchased.

10. Show new products relevant to a visitor’s price and product preferences or favourite brands. This is a great way to re-engage returning visitors.

11. Increase first time visitor sales by offering a free gift with their first purchase.

12. Content can help make a sale. Fill your email campaigns with personalised content such as webinars, ebooks or blogs to entice visitors to return to your site.

13. Engage international visitors by displaying a reassuring welcome message showing that you support and deliver to their country. Bonus points if you can do this in their language.

14. Encourage repeat purchases (where relevant) with product replenishment reminders.

15. Display ‘trending products’ on your homepage. Spark interest in products by showing what’s currently popular.

16. Send a personalised ‘we miss you’ email to re-engage old customers, with a discount, free delivery coupon or other incentive to return.

17. Display product suggestions based on shopper’s season or weather conditions.

18. Engage your PPC visitors by displaying content relevant to the keyword term they searched for.

Phew! So there you are. Feel free to give these suggestions a go, and see if they work for you.

If you need a tool to help you implement these ideas, then Bunting‘s website personalisation platform can carry these out with ease.

5 ways to step up your personalization efforts this year

It’s going to be a big year for eCommerce Personalization.

91% of digital marketers are prioritising it over the next 12 months. And let’s not forget consumers – a shopping experience tailored to their interests is fast becoming an expectation.

Despite this, many marketers and business owners feel their personalisation efforts are still inadequate.

So, to kick off 2016 on a better note, here are some ideas for how to step up your personalisation game this year.

1. Segment smartly

Are your segmentation efforts targeting the right groups? It’s good to target demographics such as age group, gender and location, but this in itself is not enough.

It is essential to leverage behaviour based data, too. Interestingly, only 48% of marketers are currently doing this, and are missing out on enormous opportunities. For example, buyers who have visited your site more than once but who have not yet purchased are a key group who could respond well to targeted content.

2. Don’t forget your home page!

Landing on Amazon’s home page will be an entirely different experience for each customer. Visitors are presented with a shop window tailored to their interests and purchases, with relevant recommendations.

Make sure your homepage is also personalised for each visitor. Consider banners and products related to their favourite brands, and display trending products pertinent to their interests.

3. Up your email game

Email marketing isn’t dead – in fact, it’s one of the most effective channels to personalise.

However, if you don’t have a healthy sized subscription list, what’s the point in the first place?

Think about creative ways to capture email addresses, and, again, segment smartly. First time shoppers are unlikely to give their email address away, but engaged shoppers who have purchased before are far more likely to do so.

Consider using incentives like a time-sensitive offer or free delivery in exchange for an email address. Target users based on their brand preferences with content they’ll love – if the visitor loves brand x, then make sure they’re the first to hear about new x releases, trending products, offers and more by email.

4. Get social

Don’t underestimate the power of social influence when it comes to shopping.

This can easily be injected into your product pages (and personalised recommendations) with stats pertaining to how many people are viewing items, what is selling well, and what is getting low in stock.

Not only does this bring a sense of urgency, but letting shoppers know what is low in stock is a helpful pointer to avoid later disappointment. And your conversions will grow as a result.

5. Reward your VIPs

80% of your future revenue will come from just 20% of your current customers says Gartner Group research. Fortunately, personalisation offers ample opportunities for customer retention.

One great way to keep your shoppers happy, and returning, is to reward them for their loyalty.

Consider rewards which are pertinent to your business. Free delivery is a highly effective one, resulting in typically 30% higher conversion rates, but also consider early access to new sales and product lines, or offers and freebies.

What to do next…

So, to wrap up, keep in mind that this year is a key year for personalisation, and it is therefore vital to step up your efforts if you’re not already doing so. All these tips can be implemented really easily with our personalisation tool, Bunting (get a free account here). See for yourself how the tips in this article help you!

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